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SLO Jewish Festival of Learning features panel with author, podcaster Mark Oppenheimer



Author, journalist, and podcaster Mark Oppenheimer will discuss his book, Squirrel Hill: The Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting and the Soul of a Neighborhood, as part of the San Luis Obispo Jewish Festival of Learning.

Oppenheimer is the three-day event's keynote speaker, and will present his talk on the first evening of the festival, Thursday, Feb. 24. Additional festival programming will occur through Saturday, Feb. 26.

Rabbi Micah Hyman, executive director of Hillel of San Luis Obispo, described one of the lessons found in Squirrel Hill as "a call to respond and reflect on all subsequent acts of hate, like the one we experienced here," he explained in a press release, referring to the antisemitic vandalism at Cal Poly in February 2021.

"Mark's gentle genius is in the kaleidoscopic view of Squirrel Hill, how a community reflected values far beyond Pittsburgh," Hyman said. "His analysis reflects a response that is both local and global in reach."

In addition to Squirrel Hill, Oppenheimer's other publications include Knocking on Heaven's Door: American Religion in the Age of Counterculture and The Newish Jewish Encyclopedia. He's also known for his work on the New York Times' Beliefs column, which he wrote between 2010 to 2016.

To find out more about Oppenheimer's upcoming presentation at Cal Poly and other programs scheduled in the SLO Jewish Festival of Learning, visit Δ

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